ŠKODA AUTO projects will advise you on how to manage the summer in a car or on a bike without complications
he pandemic has changed the Czechs’ plans for summer. Instead of a holiday by the sea, many will spend it inside the country’s borders. The traffic on cycle tracks will certainly get congested, too, increased by tourists riding the wave of e-bikes. For this reason, the carmaker is promoting activities that improve traffic conditions and are supported as part of the Employee Collections, grants and other projects. These include Safe Friday, which has long focused on educating children on traffic safety and prevention. ŠKODA AUTO’s Traffic Safety Research team focuses on a detailed analysis of causes, circumstances and development of various road accidents. Its experts have prepared a set of recommendations you can use when travelling during the holidays. Rani Tolimat
Accidents involving cyclists in 2019
of which were caused by cyclists
were severely injured
were slightly injured
Source: Police of the Czech Republic and BESIP
How to behave on a bike in summer
Think the route through
The basic rule is simple: If you can travel on a bike track, do it and avoid the road. If it’s not possible, ride behind one another and not side by side, even if you don’t see another car anywhere. They may come from around a bend or over the horizon. If you go on bikes with children, all the principles apply twice. A group with young cyclists should always be tailed by an adult – first, because a car driver can notice an adult earlier than a child, and second, because an adult can react better in a risky situation.
The most important part of your safety equipment is the helmet, which must fit properly and protect both the top and the forehead. Keep the straps properly tightened – you can tell by opening your mouth fully. Clothing with high-visibility elements will make you much easier to notice not only during the day but also when passing through a shaded forest or during an unexpected storm. High-visibility vests for children should be used as drivers can notice them better and will more drive carefully.
How to load your bikes
The best transportation tool is a towing device. ŠKODA AUTO manufactures and offers a very practical sliding type that is easy to put on and put away again. Bikes are easy to use with it, and it is absolutely safe to transport them in this way. You can also transport your bikes on the roof. Even if you secured the thoroughly, you’d better drive more slowly and carefully, especially in turns. Before you drive off, always remove everything that could fall off from the bikes along the way – lamps, pumps, mudguards etc.
Advice on how to behave on a bike in traffic, as well as news from the world of cycling, athletes’ stories and other interesting tips, can be found in the WeLoveCycling online magazine
What to think about in the car in summer
Get prepared in advance
“When going on holiday with the whole family, the car will be loaded differently than when you are driving to work. Most likely, you will have a full suitcase and maybe a load on the roof. In other words, a heavier car with a number of more difficult-to-reach places”, says Robert Šťastný from ŠKODA AUTO’s Traffic Safety Research. He adds that key steps include checking whether the tyres are properly inflated and have the necessary equipment. Drivers are recommended not to hide high-visibility vests and fire extinguishers under the floor of their loaded boots but have them on hand.
Place the luggage in the boot so that heavy items are as low as possible right behind the seats and secured with the appropriate straps or a net. If you have to add some luggage to the cockpit, it must not threaten the crew’s safety. You can put a backpack with clothes on an empty seat and fasten it with a seat belt. Forget about the space above the boot cover. Poorly stored cargo – even small items like an umbrella, a book, a camera or a bottle – has already done a lot of damage there.
Take your time to make adjustments
“People forget how important the headrest is. It plays a key role in accidents. Therefore, always have it adjusted correctly, even when you change behind the wheel”, Šťastný says. It is also true that if you have any objects in your pockets or on your belt, they must not be kept under the seat belt – they could be pushed into your body in the event of an impact. If you are wearing a belt, guide the lower seat belt below it. And never put your feet on the dashboard as a passenger.
You can also find useful tips for safe driving in previous editions of ŠKODA Mobil and on the ŠKODA Storyboard portal. Some of the things you may have read lately include how to manage rush hour without stress or what to focus on in a car when you start driving it after a long shutdown. There is also advice on how to cope with long journeys.
Safe Friday on a bike
nother part of the Safe Friday project focuses on cycling. The number of accidents involving cyclists and the share of those causing them have long been on the rise. The most effective form of prevention is to follow the traffic rules, avoid riding under the influence of alcohol and wear a helmet. Another important factor is also to have consideration for each other. When overtaking a cyclist, drivers should not forget:
To always use turn on their indicators even if they aren’t crossing the line – you are giving a signal to the car behind you, which can’t see the cyclist to avoid them in time.
That although there is no defined lateral distance when overtaking in the Czech Republic, experts recommend maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 m.
We teach schoolchildren and improve our roads
The teaching of traffic safety in the Mladá Boleslav region is supported by the ŠKODA AUTO Endowment Fund
he carmaker starts with traffic prevention as early as with children. Lecturers of the traffic safety team regularly attend elementary and nursery schools with their interactive programme. The project fully funded by the ŠKODA AUTO Endowment Fund is very popular. A total of 18 schools and kindergartens from Mladá Boleslav, Kosmonosy, Bělá pod Bezdězem, Mnichovo Hradiště and Dobrovice had joined it by mid-March to train 1,200 children. Among other things, the children learnt how to use seat belts correctly, why pedestrian visibility is important and how to carefully cross the road. The Elementary School of Dr. Edvard Beneš in Mladá Boleslav also tested the programme called “Ninth graders teach first graders”, in which children took an active part. “It’s great when children and teachers hear about information on traffic from experts”, says Iveta Sedláčková, Headmistress of the Nursery and Elementary School in Dobrovice. The programme will continue from September, with over 1,000 children participating in it again.
The Endowment Fund also involves the general public in improving the safety on the roads of Mladá Boleslav. A project calling for the active labelling of risk areas has elicited a great response. “More than 660 tips were gathered. Now we can have a discussion about this with the town authorities. We’ve already supported the creation of four new crossings in Mladá Boleslav and one in Bělá pod Bezdězem”, says Ladislav Kučera, Director of the ŠKODA AUTO Endowment Fund. RED
Our work is very meaningful because it is primarily about saving human lives.
Traffic Safety Research
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